Village and Vale
It's just a number!
AT the weekend I reached that age when the Beatles (being very young at the time) wondered "will you still feed me, will you still need me?"
Of course, they (or at least the surviving ones) are quite a lot older than me, and being multi-millionaire superstars the questions of needing and feeding are pretty much taken care of.
But back then, in our teens in the late 1960s, 64 did seem unimaginably old - obviously anyone who reached such an age would be totally decrepit!
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
So it is curious to think what a sea-change there has been in attitudes, health and life expectancy in the intervening 45 years.
When I was a child in the 1950s, my grandmother seemed very old, particularly because she had a sleep every afternoon without fail. We children were under threat of goodness knows what deprivations if we made a noise and disturbed her. But when I work it out, she was then only in her 60s - an age at which many of us now are still working full time.
Looking around my friends and colleagues, there is a former model who is still as blonde and slim as when we first met 40 years ago, another who rides her horse most days and has taken up gig rowing in her mid-60s, and a third who works an average 80 hour week, and thinks nothing of driving to London and back in a day to go to a concert at the Barbican or a play on the South Bank.
Another friend, with an even "bigger" birthday just around the corner, regularly looks after our dog for us, is always helping other people and would pass for at least 10 years younger than her real age.
Partly it is better diet and much better health care - (and for some it is also cosmetic surgery and other artificial enhancements) - but also it is a state of mind. My about-to-be-80-looks-70--year old friend is always open to new ideas, up for a trip to the theatre to see her favourite actors, enjoys The Thick Of It as much as Downton Abbey and is interested in people and life in general. I have never heard her say she is bored!
So I really wasn't giving my years much attention until my son rang from Germany. After wishing me happy birthday, and catching up on all the news, we talked about film festivals. His partner works for the Berlin Film Festival, and I am involved in the Screen Bites Food Film Festival so we often swap ideas and news about interesting films. My son had just met a young Israeli film-maker and told him about Screen Bites. The film-maker was very interested - but puzzled why two "old people" would have started something like this. Apparently it was the sort of thing that people usually did in their 20s. Suddenly I felt that invisibility that many women experience.
I was similarly struck that one of the lawyers in the recent wind turbine inquiry at Sturminster Newton implied that the demographic of the objectors meant their views didn't count.
So ageism isn't dead, despite newspaper articles over the years predicting that 40 is the new 20 or 60 is the new 40!
You are as young - or old - as you feel. Some people are born middle-aged and others never reach that indefinable tipping point between young and old. I hope I'm not middle-aged, because I certainly don't want to live to be 120!
But in the end, as long as I can still run up stairs, walk the dog, remember all my pin numbers and passwords - and still have crazy ideas, it's just a number!